Millions of visitors come to Branson each year. Last night [Feb 19] the Ole Seagull was reminded of the reason why. Simply put, it’s because a lot of people have invested their lives and resources in making Branson not only the wonderful place it is to visit, but to live, work, play and raise a family.
The Ole Seagull took a lot of ribbing from some of his buddies when he said he was going to his very first “Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Black Tie Celebration,” and honestly, he went with some trepidation. His wife actually dug his “wake suit” out of the closet for him to wear and she said he “cleaned up nice.”
Although he realizes that there is a great social organization to the universe and knows his place there was a common bond at the event, “A love for Branson, appreciation of its past and a confident hope for its future.” Branson just didn’t happen. many people have invested much of their lives to make it the wonderful place that those of us who live here enjoy and, probably take too much for granted.
The Ole Seagull was not there as a reporter so he was not taking notes. At his age that means the best that is going to happen is a recollection of high lights and not many at that. The four that come to mind are the humbleness of the honorees who received well deserved recognition for their contribution to our community or kids, their sincerity in giving the credit for their awards to someone else, a sense of their love of God and their appreciation for Branson and all that it represents.
Particularly meaningful to an Ole Seagull, was the recognition of Jack and Peter Herschend, who were presented with special recognition awards for not only their involvement with Silver Dollar City, celebrating its 50th birthday this year, but for over 50 years of committed service to Branson. From trees to education, charities benefiting the families and children of this area and so much more, Jack and Peter Herschend and the Herschend family have been involved with making Branson not only the wonderful place it is for the millions of visitors who visit each year, but for the thousands of us who work and live here.
Branson is the place where, about 24 years ago, the Ole Seagull picked to call home and moved to with his family. It is the place he loves and from which he will go to be with the Lord when it is his time although perhaps not soon enough for some. He has never regretted that decision and last night he was reminded of why that was a great decision for him 24 years ago and why it would be great decision for anyone today.
If there is a better place to live, with finer people, better educational systems, more to do or a better community than Branson an Ole Seagull isn’t aware of it. It was a wonderful experience to share an evening with people of like heart and be reminded just how wonderful Branson is and how blessed we who live here are to be able to call it “Home.”